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Freeze, then boot up issues

By TCool ยท 14 replies
Mar 30, 2010
  1. Hi all,

    I'm having an annoying issue with my computer. My specs are: Intel Phenom X4 3.0ghz, 4gb DDR2 ram, 1tb HDD, MSI mobo.

    What is happening is that occasionally my computer freezes up and then it will not start up again. When I try to turn it on I hear the fans go, but that is all that happens. The screen stays blank, there are no beeps, and after about 30 seconds the fans slow way down.

    This has happened to me probably close to ten times now in the past 6 months or so. I've discovered that if I reset the CMOS it will start back up, but it seems resetting the CMOS on this thing is a lot more difficult than it should be. Using the jumper to reset the CMOS doesn't seem to do anything. The only thing that seems to work is if I pull the battery and leave it out for 20 to 30 minutes.

    I'm assuming I have a motherboard problem, but I'm not 100% sure. Is there anyone out there who might have an idea what my issue is here? Is there something I might be able to do to fix this without replacing parts? I'm pretty broke right now, but need that computer up and running for school. So, I'd be very grateful if someone might be able to suggest a fix that won't cost me a ton of money.

    Thanks much,

  2. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Specific mobo: MSI K9A2VM-FD

    Just in case this information will help.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    I think you should check your power supply. Either try another one (preferably a good quality unit) or, if you have one, test with a VOM (volt-ohmmeter).
  4. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Part of me did suspect the power supply, but I figured it was more likely that it was the motherboard. However, since you mention power supply I guess I will also go that route.

    It seems to me the power supply provided with the computer is incredibly small for a newer computer. It is a foxconn 285 watt. Could it just be that this power supply is too small? If so, do you have any suggestions for a better one that is fairly cheap?

    Here is my specs in a little more detail.

    CPU: AMD Phemon II X4 3.0 Ghz, socket AM2+
    Mobo: MSI K9A2VM-FD
    RAM: 4GB DDR2 PC6400 (800Mhz), 2 X 2GB
    Video: Onboard ATI Radeon 3100
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 1TB (SATA)
  5. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Wow, got a very quick response from MSI (literally like 5 minutes after submitting my problem to them). Have to say, I'm quite impressed by them.

    Anyway, they also mentioned the power supply, so I think you are probably right. They said to run with at least a 400 watt.

    Would you say 400 is enough, or should I go even higher? I think what I'll do for now is take a run to best buy and pick one up. That way if the power supply is not the issue I can just take it back, or I can take it back if it is and I just want a cheaper better one from the internet.
  6. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Well, I replaced the power supply with a Thermaltake Black Widow 450 watt and all seems to be good now. Thanks again for your help.
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but you sorted out your problem anyway. Very good!

    BTW, power supplies that come with cases are so frequently marginal, inadequate or just plain no good that if I ever get one with a case, I always replace it with a high quality unit from the beginning, although there can be the occasional exception.
  8. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Well, it's been a week with the new power supply and it happened again. Is it just that this new one isn't powerful enough either, or could there be another issue?
  9. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Some more information:

    Got the computer up and running again, this time at POST I got an error message about the previous overclocking of the CPU failing. I find this odd because I've never attempted to overclock the CPU, and I entered BIOS and checked and I saw nothing to suggest the CPU was overclocked.

    Also, I realized I forgot the mention that the freezing almost always occurs when plugging something into a USB port. It sometimes occurs while I'm not doing anything (just come back to the PC and it's frozen) but most the time it is when plugging something into USB.

    I'm not 100% sure what this means, any ideas?
  10. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    The freezing issue seems to be happening more often now. The vast majority of the time it happens it is when I plug something into the front USB ports. The boot up issues still occur after every freeze, but I've discovered that it is not necessary to reset the CMOS. All I have to do is attempt to boot it, wait a little bit until it is clear nothing it happening, and then hit the reset button. I've done this twice so far and it has worked both times. Upon restarting the items I plugged into the USB work perfectly fine.

    So, given this new information does anyone have any idea what's going on? I no longer think it is the power supply because it has happened with two of them now (one being brand new). Any help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, just realized I never gave my OS. I'm running Windows 7 64-bit.
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    You could try reinstalling the chipset drivers which should include the USB controllers but the error you got during post would not have anything to do with that, I think. It might be a problem with the motherboard as you originally suggested.
  12. TCool

    TCool TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Ok, thanks. I'll see what the manufacturer has to say about it now.
  13. seanc

    seanc TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Sounds like a case short.

    Everytime you reset the CMOS or something, it flexes the case and it starts working for a while. Plugging in a USB device flexes the case again and it stops.
  14. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    I'll add further to mail's conclusion that sometimes USB ports short out for no clear reason while plugging USB media/devices, have seen it few times over and usually only motherboard replacement is the option. So if your motherboard is in warranty get a replacement.
  15. seanc

    seanc TS Rookie Posts: 88

    I've seen it happen where USB ports have been physically damaged.

    If it's front panel USB ports you can just unplug them, anything else and you're stuffed (unless you're handy with a soldering iron and have a very powerful one, those ground traces make life difficult).
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